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SusieQ 08-12-2002 07:41 AM

? about canning tomatoes
 
For anyone who cans tomatoes, do you use lemon juice or vinegar and if so does it change the flavor of the tomatoes?

Bob 08-16-2002 09:54 PM

In reply to your question about canning tomatoes, my advice to you is DON'T! You're asking for disaster. It used to be that people would can many foods at home because either they couldn't easily buy them or because commercial canning methods weren't all that good. Today, with the high quality controls with canning processes, it doesn't pay to try to do it yourself. Especially since you can pick up a can of tomatoes in every shape and form in the grocery store for pennies. Use your fresh garden tomatoes for your favorite meals and give away or sell the extra "crop" so to speak and NEVER put a tomato in the refrigerator - it will instantly kill the flavor (at least that's what one professional chef said on TV not too long ago). I have had food poisoning twice (not from anything that I ever cooked) but from other places. The first instance almost killed me. And from what I've heard about getting your stomach pumped, no thanks! It's supposed to be one of the most painful experiences that a human being can have. The canned foods that you still want to watch out for, even in the supermarket are tomatoes, mushrooms, fish and meat products. There are a few others but I'm sure that you keep your eyes open when you shop as well as use sound judgement when buying your groceries. Anyway, please leave the canning to the pros who make a living at it and do it in a controlled environment. I'd like to see you around a bit longer in this world. By the way, pickling can still be done at home safely if you know what you're doing.

tonilee 08-17-2002 04:38 AM

It is not necessary to use either vinegar or lemon juice when canning tomatoes. Tomatoes are acidic enough on their own.
They are also fairly safe to can. I have a friend who has canned for umpeteen years with none of the ill-effects described by the poor soul who has had food poisoning twice. Not to discount their concerns because proper care should be taken to process anything that is being canned, i.e. proper cooking time, clean jars, lids, etc..., sealed tops. But when done carefullly, home canned food is great. If there is ever a question about the quality of any canned food (home or manufactured) DON'T use it.
As I understand it though, even botulism bacteria can be killed when the food is reheated to a high enough temp for a long enough time. After all that, my preference is to freeze my tomatoes in plastic freezer bags. Good for any casseroles, soups,
sauces, juice... Oh yeah, look for a canning book (Ball makes
a great one) at the library or yard sales, to walk you through what can be a very rewarding experience.

MsDowser 08-17-2002 06:02 AM

Canning
 
Canning is a wonderful experience and tomatoes are the best for starting out. 2 years ago I canned a big batch of stewed tomatoes and we are still eating them. This was my first experience canning and I loved it. You need to read, read and read to be sure that you are truly being careful. BUT it is not difficult or dangerous if done correctly. I am not sure why you would think you need to add lemon or vinegar, but I agree that for tomatoes you don't need either. Why ruin their lovely taste? As for food poisoning, eating in a restaurant is always risky business. I worked in the industry for many years and even some of the "best" have questionable practices to save spoiling food. Follow directions CAREFULLY, be sure the seals are TRULY tight and enjoy! My husband loves knowing I made food just for us.

Bob 08-17-2002 06:23 AM

This is another good reason not to can most foods at home. There is too much misinformation about proper procedures. In response to the other post, it is not true that you can re-heat canned foods or any foods and kill the botulae bacteria. It can withstand boiling temperatures and still live. Of course people have canned foods in the past but there's a difference between being frugal and taking unnecessary risks with your life as well as probably the lives of others if you have a family or give any of what you've canned to friends and neighbors. I've heard that a piece of contaminated food the size of a marble is enough to kill approximately 200 people. I'm not saying never to try canning, but it seems to me like it would be much wiser to try canning something that isn't known to be extremely dangerous and has caused many deaths in the past. There are many good books in the public library that can help you to decide on what foods would be the safest to try. Another good source for information would be the Department of Agriculture. They have a lot of good pamphlets on home canning. Good luck with your efforts with whatever you decide to do.

KimGreaves 08-17-2002 08:00 AM

Canning tomatoes
 
I have canned tomatoes for many years, and I have never added lemon juice or vinegar. There is enough acid in the tomatoes that I didn't feel they needed more. Is there a recipe that you are following that calls for it?

Kim

sheilaanderson 08-17-2002 08:07 AM

HOME CANNING
 
HELLO TO EVERYONE.

HOME CANNING IS SAFE IF DONE CORRECTLY!

YES, YOU CAN'T TRUST EVERYTHING YOU READ-DONT USE AN OLD COOKBOOK OR AN OLD BALL CANNING BOOK FOR EXAMPLE-BUT YOU CAN - CAN SAFELY WITH UP TO DATE ADVICE FROM A RELIABLE SOURCE.

CHECK OUT- WWW.JUSTJEANNE.COM SHE POSTS UP TO DATE CANNING INFO, LISTS LINKS, AND HAS A LARGE FORUM OF HOME CANNERS TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS.

HAPPY HOME CANNING!!!!

SINCERELY-SHEILA ANN ANDERSON

;)

KimGreaves 08-17-2002 08:35 AM

Home Canning
 
The best gift you can give yourself when you are canning is a pressure canner. I have canned for years with an old aluminum pressure canner. It worked fine until last year. I bought a new canner that holds 14 pints at a time. What a difference in time and quality. The book that comes with new canners give you up to date information and all the specifics you need.

If you do any canning, I couldn't recommend anything more. Your time and the quality of your food is the best thing you can give your family!

Kim

BoggsZ 08-17-2002 10:42 AM

canning tomatoes
 
HI I love to can tomatoes and I have never but anything but a little salt and suger in them. I have also learned when you can tomatoe juice you can core it and run it through a blender cook them skin and all if you dont like the seeds just run them through a callander and put them in clean jars. Hope this helps someone:daisy:

AmandaTheMom 08-18-2002 02:07 PM

I canned tomatoes last year. It was very easy and very cheap. Also, we have had no ill effects from them. Just like the others have said though, be careful. This year I won't can regular tomatoes, as I still have some left from last year, but I do intend to can spaghetti sauce. You can buy mixes for the spices or just add what you normally would. YUMMY!!!!


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